Productive peace and slightly ominous quiet
I’ve boggled the AT&T guys. Well not me personally, but my antiquated apartment building and its wiring. They go in and look at the cryptic cords, then stand around for an hour scratching their jaws before putting in another work order and promising someone else will take care of it tomorrow.
(Or maybe they’ve just seen something that unnerves them. My building is built on a slope, with two floors of apartments for living people fully above ground, and a sinister labyrinth of padlocked rooms underneath, with random objects in them, from what appears to be a large collection of modern art in one, and unfamiliar rusty tools in another on top of which sprawls a stuffed lion that looks like the congealed depression of a tortured childhood. The phone wiring is down there, for some reason. Perhaps to facilitate ransom calls?)
So it’s two weeks since I had internet access at home. My correspondence is preposterously behind (aka I have 315 emails from people asking if I want to give them money or if I feel the Bern; I don’t and I do, respectively) but there is something calming about the absence of that flickering green light of e-omniscience.
(That calm is good, since I was reminded that the ominous labyrinth of torture chambers under my feet includes a short stairwell that leads to a hastily constructed and presumably flimsy wall, the other side of which is right behind my bed. So if anyone escapes their chains down there, the path out would lead directly to my pillow. Sleep tight!)
Free from the http://www.distractions of modern life .com, I have learned about corpses from Mary Roach (rather a grim thread running through this post, isn’t there?), hung with Hemingway, and righted a wrong I’ve been carrying for almost 20 years.
My high school English teacher told me to read All the King’s Men, by Robert Penn Warren. I made it about 100 pages by the deadline, then read the last two pages in an attempt to deceive her as to my productivity. It didn’t work. I saw the knowledge in her eyes, and it settled on my shoulders while Clinton was president.
But now, thanks to AT&T’s ineptitude, and perhaps terror, I know the twist. I know the resolution. I know the secret meaning of life that an interbellum political operative found as his cynicism died.
So I guess the moral of this post is that we should all take a break from the internet. That, or it really pays to live over a spooky maze of malevolent chambers. Take your pick.